A coming-of-age novel about a young woman's quest for acceptance in post-World War II Japan. Nori is an outsider from birth. Her grandparents take her in, only to conceal her, fearful of a stain on the royal pedigree that they are desperate to uphold in a changing Japan.
Asha Lemmie’s sprawling, thought-provoking debut novel, Fifty Words for Rain will give you 50 reasons to cancel the rest of your day ... I inhaled Fifty Words for Rain ... If you are a Flowers in the Attic enthusiast, this story may give you a sense of déjà vu ... Scenes where the siblings are together are among the most moving in this emotionally draining (in a good way) novel, but they still bring with them a sense of foreboding ... [a] riveting, occasionally melodramatic, always entertaining novel.
[A] a gripping historical tale that will transport readers through myriad emotions ... Lemmie has a gift both for painting pictures with lush descriptions and for eliciting horror with the matter-of-fact way in which she recounts abhorrent acts ... A truly ambitious and remarkable debut.
[An] epic, twisty debut ... Lemmie makes a few bewildering narrative choices...but she keeps the reader guessing and ends with a staggering gut punch ... Lemmie’s heartbreaking story of familial obligations packs an emotional wallop.